February 24, 2005

Some chiefs are using titles illegally, says minister

According to local government minister Sylvia Masebo, some chiefs were using their titles illegally. Masebo explained that the government's policy on chiefs had not changed in any way since 1964. The total number of chiefs in the country who were taken over by the government at the time was 286, the government had maintained the same number since then. "We have a number of people who are not recognised by the government, but they are called chiefs by their own subjects. That doesn't mean they are not chiefs. What we have is what we found. We have four paramount chiefs, the Litunga in Western province, Mpenzeni and the late Gawa Undi in Eastern province and Chitimukulu in Northern Province. This is not to say that in other provinces we don't have people who are senior to be recognised as paramount chiefs. These are serious issues and politicians must not politicise them," Masebo said. "But we are aware that some chiefs come up with those titles because they don't know what the law says, while others come up with those names because of arrogance." (The Post, Lusaka)


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